Sunday, June 21, 2009

Campground Comments

Our plan for today was to drive to Crater Lake, stop at the Visitor Center, stop at the overlooks, and view the lake.  We did that, but with a cold wind blowing and the snow falling, we left after a very short visit.  The forecast is for sunnier skies tomorrow.  We’ll go back then.  We came home and enjoyed our picnic lunch in the warmth of our own home.

This seems like a good time to make a few comments about the last campground we were in--Hat Creek Resort.  Don’t let the word “resort” fool you.  Now, I know I’m just an old country girl and haven’t been around much, but when I see “resort”, I think of pools, tennis courts, and elegant dining.  This place had none of the above, although they did sell BBQ out the window on Friday nights.  Even with a tablecloth you can’t make BBQ elegant.

Hat Creek Resort is a very old campground established sometime in the 30s.  Within the last 30 or 40 years they have added a small motel and 6 or 8 cabins.  The campsites are scattered about to fill in all the available space.  The dirt roads wind in and out and all around to access the campsites that don’t seem to be arranged in any particular pattern.  They have no regular size nor shape, either.  There are a few pull-thrus, but the electrical lines are too low for the tall rigs (those who would want a pull-thru) to pass underneath.  That was how we ended up in a back-in site.  The site was huge and on the far side from the cabins and motel area away from traffic.  We had a nice view of the forest beyond.  Because the campground is old, the trees are giants making it more like a forest service or National Park campground than a private place.  It had a real rustic feel, which we like.

What we didn’t like was the road system.  The dirt roads were too narrow for today’s RVs.  The park is trying to save the trees, and I can really appreciate that effort, but at the same time, I feel like they should take out those which are growing up into the side of the road.  They really ought to consider making a loop or some sort of pattern for the campsites to help eliminate so many twists and turns to get parked.

The worst part about the park were the seasonal sites.  Apparently, there are either no regulations or no regulations enforced, because there were sites that might have been landfills.  According to the camp host who parked us, they will no longer offer seasonal sites after this year.  Everyone has been asked to clean up their site and move along.  Also according the the camp host, the new owners want to fix the place up.  We did see efforts being made to clear out the dead wood and make some repairs.

To its credit, it is a fishermen’s weekend paradise.  Hat Creek runs right through the park and there were fishermen out at all times of the day.  On the weekend, the place fills up.  We were shocked on Friday afternoon to see the number of campers (mostly young families) coming for the weekend.

We had a site with full hook-ups (30 amps), cable TV (not many channels), and free WiFi, but there is no cell service.  We are rarely without a phone, so that was a bit inconvenient.

The internet was a learning experience.  The campground was using Nomad for their service.  Each guest got 2 free hours every 8 hours.  When you log onto the internet, you get a greeting from Nomad which explains that your campground is offering this limited time service because there were those of you (and you know who you are) that misused the free service.  Now if you want unlimited access, you have to pay.  If you don’t want to pay, then you get 2 free hours out of every 8 hour period.

I learned on the first day, that you have to read every word on every screen in order to fully understand what you get.  Since I’m not one to read every word carefully, I didn’t quite grasp the full implication of the word “continuous” which was stuck in there before the “2 free hours”.  That first day, I logged on and checked my email.  Took about 10 minutes.  Then we went off to see Lassen.  When I came home, I wrote my story and downloaded my photos.  When I went to log on again, I was denied.  That was when I remembered seeing that little word “continuous”.    I had to wait until after 9 PM until my 8 hours had expired.  After that we planned our internet time a little better.  It worked out fine.

We actually liked this old, rustic campground and the staff were very friendly and eager to accommodate.  But we won’t stay there again in a rig this large.

While I’m onto campgrounds, let me quickly say that Crater Lake Resort has no Cable TV, no cell signal and no WiFi.  This morning as we were driving to Crater Lake we found a place on the side of the road by the cow pasture where I can get a signal for my air card.  Photo of my internet hot spot tomorrow.

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